The start of the school year is a great time to establish family expectations for technology use by having a “Digital Discussion.”
To get you started, consider clarifying the norms and rules of your family on these topics:
- Where will your students use their devices to do their homework?
- In a shared visible location or in a bedroom?
- Discuss the importance and difference of being forthright versus just being honest.
- Where will the device “live” at night?
- Consider placing laptops (along with cell phones and other devices) outside of the student’s bedroom for charging purposes.
- What are the family rules about when devices need to be off?
- Do you have expectations for knowing student passwords?
- One final and important note: model the behavior you want at home!
Part of a building successful digital learning program this year is building partnerships with the entire school community, especially parents. Sometimes we assume our child knows what the family standard is for laptop or computer use, but it can be extremely helpful when families explicitly talk things through so there are no misunderstandings. Pre-established limit setting and boundaries are still necessary with students today.
For a more exhaustive list of Digital Discussion topics, check out this document. We encourage parents to talk about a central charging area, a digital curfew, account information and setup, and avoiding digital devices in the bedroom, especially for our middle-schoolers. We also remind parents these topics are a part of a larger ongoing conversation about computer use and our digital world, so adjustments may need to be made as their students mature.
You might consider writing your agreements and posting near the computer to help your student refer back to it when he or she has a question or forgets. The Family Learning Device Contract is a great template!
Looking forward to “connecting” with you in the future-
Director of Instructional Technology